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Judge deals with husband’s failure to pay divorce settlement

The courts have taken firm action against a husband who failed to comply with the terms of his divorce settlement with his former wife.

The couple had been in a relationship for 17 years and had two children. The financial provision order had been made by consent in December 2018.

One of its provisions was that the husband would make a housing fund of £2,750,000 available to the wife for the purchase of a home.

He failed to provide the housing fund and also failed to pay other sums due under the order, which totalled £203,136 in addition to the housing fund.

In July 2019, the wife applied for enforcement of the husband’s obligations under the financial provision order.

However, she represented herself and submitted Form D11 instead of the correct form, D50K.

The judge deemed the enforcement application to have been made in Form D50K and varied the order to require the husband to make the fund available by 9 October 2021. At the same time, he made an ex parte (without the husband being present at the hearing) interim charging order against the husband’s interest in a property.

He also made an order continuing an existing passport order which required the husband to lodge his passport with the wife’s solicitors, to be held by them until the day after the return date for the interim charging order.

The husband argued that the judge and the wife’s counsel had acted improperly by engaging in ex parte discussions regarding the case and by allowing her application despite it being made on the wrong form.

The Court of Appeal upheld the judge’s decision.

It held that the husband had already been given ample opportunity to file evidence. Nor had the judge been wrong to deem the wife’s application to have been made in Form D50K. Her error was a very minor one and he had plainly been entitled to remedy it under the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

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Judge deals with husband’s failure to pay divorce settlement
X v Y
Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
15 December 2021
Where Reported
[2021] EWCA Civ 1919

Underhill LJ;
Moylan LJ;
Nicola Davies LJ